Anna's StoryAfter

'The following is my experience with having unwell horses and the confusion involved with attempting to have them treated correctly.

Around October 2007 I noticed something not right with my mare after moving. She seemed ‘injured’ so I rested her and called a vet. The vet informed me that she had probably torn a muscle and advised me to give her time to come right and so I did. Over the space of the next year she got better then worse then better and then worse and I still couldn't figure out what was wrong. Another vet informed me it was just stringhalt and not to worry, keep riding her but she was becoming more unsafe to ride by the day.

She began to get very tender in her back and her hind quarters, she began even dragging one leg and walking sideways with her back legs at times. Her head flicks began to get so bad that they even seemed to scare her at times too. She was suffering from very bad sunburn, even with daily sunscreen being applied. Mud fever was affecting both of my horses badly - my gelding had never before this problem.

The vet came again and he said the same thing, it’s a muscle injury- give it time to heal. I spoke to another two vets and they said the same sort of thing, not once did diet come into the conversation....




The Feed?


I went away on holiday for 5 days and when I returned both my horses seemed good, until I began to feed them.

I was feeding them pea vine and clover at the time and after about 4-mouthfulls my mares legs began to sway and buckle. My gelding looked like he was choking and trying to bring it all back up. I had no idea what was going on and thought my mare was going to tip over. I felt utterly helpless as I had no idea what was happening or what I should be doing to help them.

I rung my vet club minutes later and they asked me if I'd soaked their feed in something alcoholic, this was the only explanation they could think of and couldn't figure any other reason how it could have happened.

This went on for another 3 months before I stumbled across Jenny's details on a web page and thought I'd question her as to what she thought of it all.


Contacting Jenny...

Anna's horse before the diet change

She informed me that my horses had grass tetany, explained fully how it had occurred and gave me a plan of action to follow.

I spent about a week weaning them both off the grass and brought in a salt block immediately- my horses just about chewed it in half within the first few days. I began them on hay and beet with Alleviate and extra added salt.

Before the change of diet my mare's muscles where just about popping out of her, her neck was so tense and hard, she was uncomfortable all the time- the rest of her body wasn't much better. I could hardly see her withers as she was so puffy and I noticed she was sitting down a lot of the time. She was far too aware of everything around her and was excessively sweating when led only short distances.

Her mane was greasy and matty, no matter how often I brushed it, it just kept knotting up. Her coat was dull and they both were having trouble shedding their winter coats. She began to scramble in the float and my gelding wouldn't load at all. He became a space cadet just staring off to nowhere a lot of the time with zero attention span. They both became very dull and disinterested in everything.


And now...

After a week on the new feeding regime my mare’s muscles began to loosen up. My gelding’s eyes brightened up. Two weeks on he had became a lot more playful and alert. Over a month later and I have two very different horses, they are full of energy and personality. I actually think they are better than they I have ever seen them in over 10 years. Both their coats and manes are shiny and glossy. (see the photo at the top of this page)
They are on AlleviateC and additional salt now.

I have spoken to two vets before and after treatment, they both said it sounded like a load of rubbish and a waste of money before I started and now they have nothing to add at all, or more to the point they just don't want to know about it at all.

It has been a very long few years of having sick horses.

I have never felt so powerless in my life to help my animals and I never want to feel that way again. I'm very thankful to Jenny for all her help.

I hope my story can help someone else going through the same ordeal I've recently experienced.

Kind regards
'Anna McGuinn'