Naughty Noah - (or so we thought)Noah after diet changes

On my daily travels mid June I picked up the New Zealand Horse Trader magazine and read about a horse who sounded just like my horse Noah. After reading this article I contacted the ProvideIt staff explaining my concerns with Noah's behaviour.

We have had Noah ten months. His previous owner had bought him for his wife as a novice rider's horse. They gave me Noah with great caution as he had bucked, reared and succeeded in getting them off. He refused to float for them. He acted like a monster lived in that float so it took me two hours to load him when I first got him.

Now loading was one area he has learned to master since being with me but other behaviours stuck. Noah has always been a bucker, rearer, over excited, spooky, tense, bolshy horse with a head flick who always sweats excessively with little work. Over all unpredictable. All of this led us to think that Noah was naughty as no amount of training and desensitising worked. I had also spent big money on different calming products, only to find they did not work...

 

Overview

We took Noah down to Waioku for a weekend of trekking at Wild West Adventures. What a disaster! He was on edge, dangerous to his horsy mates, not to mention his rider and himself.

Noah on the trek!

He nearly put himself down cliff faces, reared up for no apparent reason just missing a friend's horse's rump on the way down. My friend riding the near miss was disgusted in Noah's actions finding no reason for his lack of co-operation. Other friends that came on this trip grew to dislike Noah. "Shoot him", "Dog tucker him", "He's a psychopath" were just a handful of the comments passed our way. My husband who rode out on this trip saw all of Noah's antics. Amongst him and friends, Noah's fate was decided by weekends end.

I have trained, backed and gentled many horses. I was getting the message from Noah, "Sorry mum I want to be good but something is just not right." As stated before, Noah has always sweated excessively. A new horse to our property started to have the same sweat problem after just four days of being with us. I thought it must be something they are eating or lacking in their diets.

 

The ProvideIt Plan

Reading about other horses who have been helped by the ProvideIt team started the penny dropping. Emma's knowledge made the penny drop even further. Emma suggested the ProVide It Plan, loads of hay, salt and take him off the grass.

I have been around horses all my life, worked and trained in racing stables; in later years done my own breeding program, all of which I was taught 'good grass' and grain were what horses needed to be healthy, calm athletes. Talking to Emma sent me on a study mission. What is good for horses and what do horses like?

To forage, wild horses will travel 30-50kms a day, then we give them acres of lush grass full of sugar and other nasty things blowing their whole natural existence out the window. Their minds and bodies can't cope. Rye and Clover are the grasses on my property. Lovely dairy pasture for cows (lucky I have some). We are starting to over sow in Cocksfoot and Timothy.

For six weeks now my herd of five have been on a track system, hay, two hours of grass and the ProVide It Plan.

All five have amazing changes. They have their feet trimmed by Peta Schiessel, a natural hoof trimmer. No more shoes for my guys, they don't need them. Their new diet and track have given a much healthier hoof, no cracks and very few complaints when ridden out on the road. I only expect their hooves to improve more. My two foals cope nicely with the diet. They are content, quiet and have no weight loss and their growth is still lovely.

 


Amazing Changes!

Bartacus, our Appy Quarter Horse x has suffered from allergies since not long after birth. His glands have permanently been swollen. Not anymore, I can't feel any bumps under that jaw and he also will let you touch his head now all over.

Noah and I went for our first ride after him being on the diet for five weeks. I'm sure this is not my horse. There is no head flicking, no spooking, no monsters behind every blade of grass or tree. No racey pacey, no buck and no rear.

I was so sceptical about Noah's new found behaviour I had to ride him again and again out on the road. He was still calm, relaxed and happy to oblige. Not moody or bolshy. The excessive sweating has completely vanished. I lifted the saddle after an hours pleasant ride no sweat there, only on the girth line. I'm in disbelief as Noah is normally dripping.

My husband after these rides was impressed with my new angel but wanted to test him further. Our next challenge was the beach where Noah used to become a wreck. Not on this trip.

A big thanks to Emma for our long winded conversation on the phone that led me to hours of study and horsemanship. Thanks also to you all at Calm Healthy Horses New Zealand that study and work hard to shed light on what is good for our horses.

I only wished I had learnt about this years ago as I know I could have helped many a four legged friend sent to me for training with bad behaviour. I can see now this behaviour was due to diet. I can only hope that others that read Noah's story will study and learn what is healthy and good for the horse.

Thanks heaps. I'm so grateful that Noah is staying because I love this horse dearly. From Nice Noah, HAPPY HUSBAND (ProVide It Plan worked for his horse too) and Naughty Nikki.

The following links are brilliant for anyone looking for a head flicking support group, headshaking questions, information and resources and head shaking cases.

I'm smiling so is Noah, sun is shinning so is Noah.
I'm riding my best buddy in the whole world. He is sane. No jig jog, just a happy contented horse, rider and husband.
Noah truly is a reformed horse thanks to the ProVideIt Plan and loads of (horse safe) hay.