Help Your Horse to Breathe Clearly.

Horses that spend so much time in the stable have greater exposure to challenging particles, generated by forage, bedding, dried mud, and scurfy coats. These particles are inhaled, and in a healthy environment they will be istock_000009943540_mediumtrapped by cilia and mucous in the upper respiratory tract, and removed. If the stable environment is too dusty the respiratory system is overloaded, which impairs usual function and causes irritation and inflammation, in turn restricting the airways, increasing the risk of coughs or other respiratory issues. If ventilation in your stables is poor or bedding/forage is dusty the risk of respiratory problems increases.

 

If your horse is stabled more frequently over the winter, following these tips can help to maintain optimum respiratory health:

  • The Stable: ensure your stable is well ventilated and keep top stable doors, windows and any vents open. Horses do not worry about draughts, and providing they are adequately rugged they will cope well even during bouts of bad weather. If you are worried about snow or rain blowing in, use turnout rugs to keep your horse warm and dry.
  • Forage: a lot of hay is too dusty to feed to horses dry. Soaking hay reduces dust particles, but will also reduce the nutritional value of hay as nutrients are leeched out into the water, notably sugars and water soluble vitamins. While ideal for very good doers and those istock_000005161892smallneeding low-sugar diets, for horses in hard work and poor doers this is not such a good thing- and soaking is also time consuming and can be messy and difficult in freezing conditions. An alternative option is to feed steamed hay, which reduces the amount of dust particles without nutrient losses, or you could consider feeding a good quality haylage, or a short chop fibre.
  • Supplement: feeding a respiratory supplement can benefit horses that are stabled often through the winter by helping to thin and expel excess mucous and hence remove harmful dust particles, soothing the airways.
  • Bedding: sealed rubber matting in a well-draining stable will help to minimise build-up of ammonia and can also help to reduce the amount of bedding needed. Choose a low-dust bedding which is also absorbent- there are various options available, so pick one that suits you and your horse, whether it is good quality straw, shavings or wood chips.
  • Mucking out: where possible muck out without your horse in the stable, and leave the dust to settle before bringing your horse back in. If you use strong disinfectants in the stable, follow manufacturer’s instructions, as incorrectly used these can also be a respiratory irritant.
  • Grooming: when grooming and rug changing, it is advisable to do so out of the stable to reduce the amount of mud and scurf particles.
  • Turn out: turn out is very important to help maintain respiratory, and mental health for your horse, so whenever possible get them out of the stable!

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For any more helpful advice or feeding tips for horses that are stabled over the winter call one of our Nutritional Advisors on 0800 585525, email [email protected], or use our online chat service available at www.feedmark.com.

Horse Of The Week – Simmy.

simmy-2Our new Horse Of The Week is Simmy, an 18-year-old Welsh Section B pony who belongs to Andrea Nicholson. Andrea told us: “Desarbre Scimtar (Simmy) came to mesimmy-5 on loan to cover 2 of my mares seven years ago. He was due to return to his owner in France the following February. During that year, he totally won my heart as the kindest, most biddable pony ever.”simmy-4

“He never went back, as my lovely husband bought him for my 60th birthday! He had spent most of his life covering mares, although we knew he had been broken as a youngster and had been on loan as simmy-3a ridden pony before coming to us. We decided to try putting him back into work, and he absolutely loved it!”

“However, the years of running with mares had taken its toll, and he felt a bit flat and tired, so we started him on Feedmark’s ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips, and he has never looked back! He loves his ridden showing simmy-6and is never out of the ribbons. He won at the New Forest Show 3 years ago, and this year, aged eighteen, he returned to the show and was 7th in a huge class of much younger ponies. He also qualified for 2 finals at the NPS summer champs and again came away with good placings in Open simmy-8ridden and Veteran classes. He still covers, and I currently have a beautiful yearling filly by him. He is sound, happy, and loves life. He plays with my yearling colt like a pony half his age. Here’s hoping for many more years of the same!”

A FREE 1.35kg tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on it’s way to Simmy for being our Horse Of The Week!

Happy horse, happy owner – keeping you and your horse content over winter!

Winter often means that horses are confined to their stables for longer than usual, and in periods of bad weather, some horses may have to be stabled for days on end.

While some horses don’t seem to mind living in, for other horses it can be very hard to adjust to 24 hour stabling, and they can become very stressed- which in turn can lead to health and behavioural problems.

To help to reduce your horse’s stress levels, make sure they always have hay or haylage available, as this keeps this reduces the risk of gastric disturbance, the internal fermentation of forage helps to keeps them warm, and eating keeps them occupied. If your horse is a very good doer, use doubled up net small holed haynets to reduce intake, or feed little and often if that is possible.

Try to keep your horse exercised as much as possible, and if your horse is not being ridden as much as usual reduce the amount of concentrate feed they receive, so they are not consuming quick release energy that they can’t utilise. Continue with high fibre and high oil feeds, as these will help with gut fill and satisfaction.

Feedmark’s Nutritionist Olivia shares:

“When the weather means that my horses must stay in, I mpi_FeedmarkFibreBlocksoak a Feedmark Fibre Block in 5 litres of warm water for them- the warm water helps it to smell lovely, and it keeps me happy knowing that it is helping them to stay hydrated- especially as my older mare doesn’t always drink much during cold snaps. My other horse is a stressy type, so she gets Steady-Up Advance over the winter, which really helps to keep her ridden work more focused.”

It can help some horses if they can see a friend nearby, and stable mirrors may also help where this is not possible. If your horse enjoys spending time with you, extra grooming time may be enjoyable for them, and if they use a horse ball or a similar stable toy, let them play with it to help ease boredom.

If your horse is of a nervy disposition, is having to live in, or their behaviour gets worse over the winter we recommend adding our fantastic calmative Steady-Up Advance to their daily feed to help keep them calm and settled.

Horse Of The Week – Rosie.

rosie-2This week’s Horse Of The Week is Rosie, who was owned by Karen Tadd. Karen explains “Unfortunately, Rosie is norosie-1 longer with us, but I would really like to share her story. She was a 15.1hh Irish Draught.”

“We used Steady-Up Advance when Rosie had to be on box rest for 8 weeks. She was always a very stressy mare at the best of times when she was left in, but using Steady-Up Advance was a blessing. It kept her completely calm and rested. Steady-Up Advance helped a lot when bringing Rosie back into work, rosie-3and it kept her calm when she was turned out for the first few times. I was absolutely blown away with the product, I do recommend Steady-Up Advance whenever anyone asks about a calmer. Thank you Feedmark for such a great product! We went on to have lots of fun together, mainly rosie-4hacking and enjoying life!”

If you would like your horse to feature as Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week, please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] .

Horse Of The Week – Alfie.

alfie-3This 16hh Thoroughbred is Alfie, and he is 13 years old. Gaelann East owns Alfie, and has done so for 3 years. Together they do a lot of dressage. Gaelann told us: “Alfie is an ex racer, he raced with a few placings then went off to a home that hacked him out before he came to me to be retrained for dressage. Alfie and I have been placed and have qualified at the RoR National Finals for three years running. alfie-1We came 10th with our Dressage To Music pair at the Riding Club Finals this year. Alfie also took RoR South East Champion in three classes this year.”

“I have lots of plans for Alfie to move up the alfie-6Dressage levels, and in 2017 we will start to work on Elementary moves, and hopefully go out competing in new Elementary Freestyle to Music. Alfie and I have lots of Qualifications to work towards with RoR Dressage and hope to top the points league again.”

“When Alfie came to us his hoof structure was weak and we kept losing shoes, so I started feeding Feedmark’s Hardy Hoof Formula. Alfie is a right fussalfie-2 monster when it comes to food but the small pellets of Hardy Hoof were easily mixed into his feed. Now we have got him to a stage where he maintains a strong hoof structure, we can keep shoes on for 6 weeks, whereas before he was slipping out of alfie-7them rather too frequently. In the summer when Alfie is on a reduced hard feed, we top up his diet with more hardy hoof to support the hoof horn growth rates. I would highly recommend this product for shod or barefoot horses (I have one of each).”alfie-5

A FREE tub of Hardy Hoof is on its way to Alfie for being our Horse Of The Week!

If you would like your horse to feature as Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week, please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] .

Horse Of The Week – Krakatoa.

krakatoa-5This is Krakatoa, a 9-year-old Polish Warmblood standing at 17hh. Krakatoa has been owned by Kerri Ashcroft for the last 5 years. Kerri explains: “Together we do general hacking, long distance rides, cross country, and we compete in local shows and hunter trials.”krakatoa-4

“Kraka was sold to me as an uncontrollable hooligan, he was lead out by two people, one had tight hold of the bridle and the other had the headcollar. They had been honest with me and the owner said she wouldn’t ride him again as she was scared of him. However, despite this I fell krakatoa-6in love with him and decided to take him home. It has been an emotional rollercoaster but we have finally got there, he is still a hooligan but controllable and a very lovable horse.”

“Kraka had been through several homes until I bought him in 2012. It was love at first sight and despite his vices I brought him home, I’ve never looked back. We have had some real ups and downs krakatoa-2over the years; tears, broken bones, dislocated fingers and tantrums (both him and me!) but I will never give up on him. Kraka is full of character and luckily, he has no idea how big he really is. We all love him even though he is far from perfect.”

krakatoa-3“My future plans with Kraka are to get to a higher level of cross country; to do more show jumping and dressage; and to try ridden and in hand showing as he is registered with CHAPs as a bay tobiano, and should do really well.”

“Kraka used to be very noisy and raspy after even the krakatoa-7lightest of work. After 7 weeks on Feedmark’s Clarity we have noticed an amazing improvement in noise, he can work much harder without rasping too badly and recovers much quicker. He has no objections to Clarity krakatoa-1being added to his feed.”

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

If you would like your horse to feature as Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week, please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] .

Horse Of The Week – Pee.

pee-14Meet Pee, our new Horse Of The Week. His owner, Jenny Chapple told us: “Pee is a Welsh cross Thoroughbred, he’s 15.3hh and I’ve been luckypee-3 enough to own him for 10 and a half years. We used to do a lot of showing and competed in some working hunter classes. With his previous owner, he was in the side saddle display team. Pee took me to my first ever county show, he’s such a good allrounder and we’ve had lots of fun doing sponsored rides, jumping, and hacking pee-1out.”

“Pee has a very calming influence, his nickname is ‘Daddy Pee’ and he has looked after many nervous riders and horses, giving them confidence whilst out hacking. pee-6These days he leads a quieter life, and we still go out hacking which we both really enjoy. Pee loves being pampered, and we’re hoping to get out and do some in hand showing next month. Pee also likes to sleep a lot and enjoys a cuddle when he’s pee-8lying down!”

“I started giving Pee Veteranaid when he started looking a bit ‘old’, he had lost condition and his pee-13customary sparkle. Within a few weeks of starting the Veteranaid he picked up, gained a lovely shiny coat and his sparkle returned. I have now been using it for a couple of years and wouldn’t be pee-2without it! I thoroughly recommend Veteranaid for any oldie.”

A FREE tub of Veteranaid is on its way to Pee for being our Horse Of The Week!pee-4

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 [email protected] .

Friends reunited

 

nibbet-2

Nibbet has a pony tale with a happy ending

Twelve years ago, Christine Spiby bought a beautiful Welsh Section B pony called Wicksop Jim Nibbet for her grandson, Joshua. As often happens, Joshua became more interested in football than in ponies and it was decided that rather than see Nibbet become bored, the kindest option was to find him another home.

Inevitably, they lost track of the perky 12hh bay gelding. But earlier this year, when Christine was helping out at a local rescue centre, she learned that a pony was arriving later that day.

“The trailer arrived – and there was Nibbet,” said Christine. “It was a coincidence that I was there that day, but my daughter works there.

“I recognised Nibbet straight away, even though he looked very different from when we had him. He was riddled with worms and it turned out that these had caused liver and kidney problems.”

Christine and her daughter, Danielle Medhust, immediately offered to adopt Nibbet and the pony’s story turned full circle to a happy ending. Seven months after stepping down that trailer ramp, Nibbet is back to his cheeky self and has already amassed an impressive collection of rosettes.

He also has a new rider, as Danielle’s seven-year-old daughter, Lexi, has formed a bond with him. “They started off in lead rein classes at local shows and did working hunter, jumping, games, everything,” said Christine.

nibbet“Lexi rides him off the lead rein at home and at their last show, she did the working hunter class on her own. She loves him and can do anything with him – I’m really proud of her, because she’s so kind and caring, to animals and people. Nibbet loves getting attention from her and happily lets her groom him and pick his feet out.

Nibbet is now 24 years old and is as full of character as ever. “When we first owned him, we fed him Feedmark’s Steady-Up Advance,” said Christine.

This nutritional support has become part of Nibbet’s routine once more. “He doesn’t buck or rear or do anything nasty, but even at this age, he isn’t an easy pony to ride,” said Christine. “He can be spooky, not in a dangerous way but enough to keep you on your toes. He’ll still have a spook at something he’s seen a hundred times before!

Christine is adamant that Nibbet has a home with them for life. Lexi is looking forward to having lots more fun with him and there is even a potential follow-up jockey waiting in the wings.

As this newsletter was published, Danielle’s youngest daughter, Erin, was just nine weeks old. “Hopefully, if she wants to ride, Nibbet will be ready,” said Christine.

 

 

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 [email protected] .

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 [email protected] .